Raising the age in NSW
Criminalising children causes them harm.
In NSW our government criminalises children in a variety of ways. Children as young as ten can be policed, arrested, searched, fined, questioned, put through courts, held on remand, and locked up.
Even without arrest, early police contact is harmful, and does not reduce crime.
What we do now hurts kids, families and communities. And it does not work.
The earlier children come into contact with the system the more likely it is they have ongoing contact. This contact is traumatic, and it doesn't deliver safer communities.
Every child should have the chance to grow up safe and sound, and learn from their mistakes.
Children become teenagers, teens become young adults and adults become parents. All children deserve to flourish and thrive.
The evidence is clear: our methods are harming kids instead of helping. When we drop a child into the quicksand of the legal system, they are more likely to sink in deeper than to swim out.
It’s up to us to reach out a hand and support our youngest kids to grow, learn and thrive. When we do this, our communities will be stronger and safer.
We can do better...
In NSW, a lead group of First Nations, legal, human rights, civil society, community services, non-government organisations, peak bodies, and unions have come together to call on the NSW government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.
Our organisations and our members build, run and deliver services for children and with communities across NSW that can be models for better ways to support children to thrive outside of the criminal justice system, to strengthen communities and to assist in the rare circumstances children need specialist support and care.
Together we can do far better for children and communities.